Pop quiz: Which state had the highest relative humidity in 2020? Was it Hawaii? Florida? Louisiana? The answer is none of those—Alaska ranked number one last year in relative humidity. Don’t be upset—Florida followed closely behind and ranked second. I’m proud to be living in a state which always ranks high on rising temperatures and humidity compared to other states—GO FLORIDA! There is great research, data and comparisons generated by NOAA and other agencies illustrating climate change; the fact is, just step outside and you know it’s warm. Most describe our weather as HOT, BALMY, STICKY and even unbearable. I like to describe our weather as tropical or sun filled. With that said, I enjoy the feeling of cool bought air (air conditioning), ice in my drink and the Gulf when it’s not the temperature of warm bath water.
So how can we keep more of our bought air in our homes? The majority of wasted conditioned air is leaking through our attics. Attics are the number one source of air loss; So what can we do? It’s simple—rule your attic. First, check the amount of insulation you currently have in the attic. If you see joists, wood supports running down the attic floor, you need insulation. If you measure the thickness of insulation and it is less than 11.5,” you need insulation. Adding insulation not only increases your comfort, but also puts less wear and tear on your HVAC equipment, saving you money.
Another way energy is lost through the attic is leaking conditioned air into the attic by unsealed penetrations. These consist of electrical wiring, ceiling fans, bathroom vents and light switches, just to name a few. Plumbing located in your attic also requires air sealing around vent pipes. Toilets and drains require proper venting. Vent pipes supply fresh air to each plumbing fixture in the house, which helps the system move water through the drainage pipes each time a toilet is flushed or a sink is drained. Plumbing air vents also prevent sewer gases from entering the home and allow wastewater gas and odor to escape. These areas normally have the most concerns, because the required diameter of these holes varies and is usually drilled to the largest size to save time during construction, but costing you money when not sealed. Air sealing around light fixtures and recessed lightly also will have a positive impact on air loss and comfort. Most attics are engineered to circulate air by soffit vents and ridge vents, not by using improperly sealed electrical and plumbing attic penetrations. Leaking ductwork is also ranked high on the energy list. By the time your cool air reaches vents to cool rooms, cracked or unsealed ductwork will suck in hot attic air and dust to those rooms, wasting you money and causing your HVAC to work harder. If you experience hard to cool rooms, high heating and cooling bills or know you have low insulation and opportunities to become more energy efficient, Rule Your Attic. If you decide to do these projects yourself, take precautions; wear safety glasses, proper clothes, gloves, stay hydrated, take breaks and have a buddy to help. If you decide to hire a professional to assess and suggest solutions, get estimates in writing, ask to air seal and what they air seal and how much insulation will be added—then start Ruling Your Attic.
Chris Balzer is Founder and President of Emerald Coast Energy Solutions which is a Smile Provider Company. We provide smiles to our customers after installing our high energy efficient products, increasing comfort and lowering energy bills. For more information on how to save this summer and become energy efficient, schedule an inspection by calling (850) 588-2870, visit www.trusteces.com or email email@example.com. Beat the Heat!